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Barn Notes

Kid Sidney Switches to Turf for the Jersey Derby

Posted Friday, Jul 20, 2012

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Kid Sidney will assuredly be the new kid on the block when he comes into the paddock before Saturday’s $60,000 Jersey Derby.

            The gelded son of Lemon Drop Kid and the maternal grandson of 1996 Haskell Invitational and 1998 Phillip Iselin Handicap winner Skip Away will be making his first start for trainer Steve Hobby, and he’ll also be trying the turf for the first time in five career starts. He’s the only 3-year-old in the field who’s never run on grass before.

            “We’ve only had him for about 10 days,” said William Hollick, the assistant to Hobby. “We don’t really know much about him yet, but he’s been training really good since he came into the barn. This first race with us will be trial and error, I guess.”

            Kid Sidney had a first, a second and a third in three starts at Oaklawn Park this past winter, all at the 1 1/16 mile distance of the Jersey Derby, and then finished seventh on July 1st when he caught a sloppy Churchill Downs track in an allowance race for winners of one other than. The PHWL Partnership only recently decided to change trainers, and now Hobby is changing him to the grass.

             “It’s because of his stride,” said Hollick. “He moves like a turf horse, he looks like a turf horse, he’s got a turf foot, and he’s got decent turf breeding.”

            Kid Sidney will have to face a very experienced and accomplished turf runner in Howe Great. The Graham Motion trainee won the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream in March while finishing in front of Haskell Invitational starter Dullahan and ran third to Silver Max, who is also trained by Dale Romans and is undefeated in his last five starts. Last out, Howe Great lost by only a half-length in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont.

            “Howe Great looks like a monster in this field,” said Dennis Manning who owns and trains Jersey Derby starter Crafty Unicorn. “This looks like a pretty tough spot and I don’t know if my horse has enough talent to beat him, so we’ll see. Howe Great is obviously the horse to beat, but we’ll give it our best effort. What was the name of that little guy who beat Goliath?”

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